Oaklands School Southampton

Following relocation of the local Community school in 2013 this site was identified by Southampton City Council for the development of much needed affordable homes to meet the needs of the local community.
Working closely with Lordshill Community, local partners KSA Architects and Construction Partner Drew Smith, plans were developed for the delivery of 103 high quality new homes to meet an identified housing need. Planning consent was granted late in 2018 and work started on the vacated Community School site in 2019 to provide 41 flats and 62 houses.
Housing delivery on this important site supports the City Council manifesto commitment to provide 1,000 Council Homes by 2025. The development sees the provision of council-rented homes, while a proportion will also be made available to residents with care needs.

SCC are working hard to deliver more affordable, quality, council-owned homes in Southampton to meet the needs of
the thousands of families on the Housing Register. It is a superb example of a Local Authority land asset being put to good use.

This is a shining example of Local Authority Partnership working at it’s best. Throughout the evolution of this project Southampton City Council worked closely with key local partners and local stakeholders to bring forward a viable and deliverable affordable housing scheme.

Southampton City Council and Drew Smith working in close partnership are committed to developing and enhancing diverse communities, creating local economic opportunities and enabling the local community to live happy, healthy and sustainable lives.
Alongside SCC’s Employment and Skills Plans Coordinator Drew Smith are exploring the opportunity of a Vistry Partnerships Skills Academy in the Southampton area. The academy provides classroom and practical working space to run pre-employment and engagement workshops. This allows both theoretical, practical qualifications and training to take place within a live site environment. This provides those who are new to the industry an opportunity to gain the vital live site ‘life style’ of working whilst keeping at a safe distance and have strong engagement with the supply chain without a direct placement.

As part of our close partnership with Southampton Solent University
we arranged for the full-time students on the BSc(Hons) Construction Management course to visit a construction site regularly as part of their Production module. This started in October 2018 on a local site in Millbrook Southampton. The students visited monthly to view and analysis the progress & production on site. We are looking to continue this arrangement & visits at Former Oaklands School, once students return to the classroom.

As a direct result of this new contract Drew Smith were in a position to recruit two new full-time members of staff:
Alfie started with Drew Smith/Vistry Partnership in September 2020 as a Trainee Quantity Surveyor on Oaklands School, after completing several weeks work experience during half term breaks from school/college. Drew Smith have enrolled Alfie into Level 4 Apprenticeship in Construction Quantity Surveying, which he has recently started as part of the 2020/21 academic year. Paul Hill who lives in Shirley was out of work due to Covid-19, we were able to employ him as our welfare labourer when the Oaklands re-opened.

Drew Smith actively encourage apprenticeships through their local supply chain and outside of the current climate it can form part of a contractual obligation. On site we have a plumbing and carpenter apprentice as well as a bricklayers hod carrier who, at the time was an unemployed member of the Southampton Community.
Wherever possible Drew Smith draw on their local supply chain, supporting small local businesses who employ Southampton based staff:

» Carpenters – Portswood based
» Plumbers – Southampton based
» Scaffolders – Nursling, majority of workforce are within a 5 mile radius
» Timber Frame – Majority local suppliers within a 5 mile radius
» Bricklayers – Self employed trades all within a 5 mile radius

Project Overview





Southampton City Council

Contract Value

£17 million

Project Duration

136 Weeks

Homes created


Project Specialisms

Affordable Housing